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Other formula feeders, can I be nosey?

(43 Posts)
strawberrycake Tue 16-Nov-10 21:56:22

When are you starting to wean your LO? My ds is 5.5 m/o and I'm starting to realise I seem to be the only one now at all the groups/ clinics I go to who isn't weaning and is using formula (a few I know who bf are waiting too).

I keep seeing feeding advice now which involves solids, loads in fact!

My ds hasn't shown interest in solids, so I haven't fed him. He doesn't eat much milk and sleeps through. Also <whisper> it's easy to feed them just milk isn't it? No faff.

I'm asking ff in particular as
1-I ff myself
2-From my experience bf seem as a whole more likely to wait (well judging from women I know only) I guess maybe if you successfully bf maybe it means different emotions? (pure speculation)

I'm not out to judge, just interested to see if I'm on my own or if this is the norm and my friends are not.

megonthemoon Tue 16-Nov-10 21:59:37

I'm not a ff, but the two who were fully ff out of my antenatal group both waited to wean - one weaned at just before 6mo and the other at 6mo.

strawberrycake Tue 16-Nov-10 22:01:57

Interesting, a lot of the women I know are starting at 4m/o, or even before as in one case. It almost seems a tad competitive, like a baby is a bit behind if he hasn't passed the baby rice stage before 5 months.

megonthemoon Tue 16-Nov-10 22:10:46

The only other ff I am close to introduced solids at 4mo to all 3 of hers. They were big babies so that seemed to influence her. More of my bf friends waited until closer to the 6 months (I introduced solids at 22 weeks) but I do know a few who introduced them at 4mo. So perhaps bfeeders waited slightly longer on average but not always.

At a baby group I go to, there is a lot of competitiveness about whether the child is on baby rice etc., but there is also competitiveness about who is sitting first, who is in clothes bigger than their actual age etc. That's just mums in groups - jostling for position !

Summerbird73 Tue 16-Nov-10 22:14:06

I ff'd and started weaning DS at 15 weeks. Way earlier than recommended but he was a big baby and a gutsy one! TBH i relied on mothers instinct, so if you know that your LO is ready now then go for it.

But yeah - FF is far less faffing about! However weaning can be fun [convincing emoticon]

TheSugarPlumFairy Wed 17-Nov-10 08:43:48

FF here too. We started at 18 weeks. DD was taking 5 9 oz bottles during the day and was starting to wake in the night after reliably sleeping through.

i did a fair bit of research into weaning timetables and saw that the 6 month suggestion was primarily aimed at breastfeeding babies and is suggested because starting solids before this may cause the baby to cut back their BF and thus threaten the supply. WHO want to see all babies BF for 2 years so maintaining supply is obviously important. As a FF those concerns didn't apply to us so we went ahead.

She was so ready she couldn't get the stuff into her fast enough.

TheUnmentioned Wed 17-Nov-10 08:52:47

ds was exclusively bf until 3m and mix fed after that - he was weaned at 25 weeks.

dd is only 7 weeks and is mostly formula fed but also gets breastmilk - I am planning on wiating until 6m with her but she is a real milk guzzler and is a big baby so I dont know, I will follow her lead, I cant see Id be comfortable doign it at 4m though. If possible I want to do blw too.

StealthPomBear Wed 17-Nov-10 08:55:45

My friend ff her two and weaned her youngest at about 17 weeks on the advice of her HV(??) but weaned at about 5.5 months I think with her second.

Summerbird73 Wed 17-Nov-10 09:06:16

my friend was told 15 years ago to wean at the earliest of either 12 weeks or 12lb baby weight.

now i know that guidance and recommendations have changed over the years but i was reassured in that i was ok to wean DS at 15 weeks (my mum gave me mashed banana at 8 weeks old - but that was nearly 40 years ago! - i was also given carnation milk when she ran out of National Formula!!)

happygilmore Wed 17-Nov-10 11:24:28

I'm ff and not weaned DD yet, she's 6 months in a few days. Wanted to wait for similar reasons to you, she is a big baby (in length and weight) but I figure she's been happy with milk so far so why push it! She only wakes once in the night for milk and generally goes back off easily.

We've started putting her in high chair and offering her food to hold this week, but she's not really interested.

I really wanted to wait too because of allergies and health problems I have - I wished I'd been able to bf (but that's another thread!) so thought waiting was the least I could do and in all honesty, milk seems much easier than food!! <lazy>

Also, I know I ( a premature baby) was fed crushed up biscuits in my bottle, and I wonder if this has had some impact on my long term health; not the same as early weaning I know, but definitely wanted to wait the full 6 months.

I've not been to any baby groups due to illness so I wonder if I've missed out on some of the pressure to wean earlier?

MumNWLondon Wed 17-Nov-10 11:26:25

I weaned DS2 at 5.5 months.

I was given both carnation milk and also baby rice from 8 weeks (and then other solids from 12 weeks)(in 1974) and I suffer from dreadful IBS. My grandma and dad both Drs so my mum was following the advice then. Wanted to try to avoid DC suffering from bowel issues like me.

If your baby is sleeping well on just milk I would wait. I weaned at 5.5 months as from 5 months he was waking up several times in the night (EBF) and I was exhausted. Would have waited a few month weeks otherwise.

RunningOutOfIdeas Wed 17-Nov-10 11:34:16

I think you have to be led by what you feel is right for you and your baby. I really don't get this 'competitive mum' thing. If your DS is happy on milk then great. At 5.5 months you could see what his reaction is to a little soft finger food (eg. a stick of cooked carrot) or a spoon of puree. If he loves it then it is probably time to start weaning. If he looks at you in disgust then wait a few days and try again.

strawberrycake Wed 17-Nov-10 12:34:51

For the hell of it I offered him some cereal this morning...POISON! Had to laugh at his face.

I was weaned early, no allergies.

DS already has eczema/ milk allergy/ recurrent colds and a chest infection. Oh well. Wanted to bf but never managed beyond expressing until my milk went.

strawberrycake Wed 17-Nov-10 12:35:58

He was 2 weeks late so I'm quite surprised that at 25 weeks he's still taking 4-5oz a feed and sleeping through the night on milk.

jaggythistle Wed 17-Nov-10 13:15:02

"i did a fair bit of research into weaning timetables and saw that the 6 month suggestion was primarily aimed at breastfeeding babies and is suggested because starting solids before this may cause the baby to cut back their BF and thus threaten the supply. WHO want to see all babies BF for 2 years so maintaining supply is obviously important. As a FF those concerns didn't apply to us so we went ahead. "

Sorry TheSugarPlumFairy, but that is utter, utter bollocks.

The advice is for milk only (breast or formula) till around about 6 months, when the baby is starting to sit up by themselves, can pick things up and bring them to their mouth and has lost tongue thrust reflex.

It is to do with the baby's ability to digest anything other than milk, nothing to do with bf milk supply. Some babies will be ready earlier than others, but you can't really tell from the outside, so the suggestion is around 6 months when most will be ok with solids.

Also sleeping through or not is nothing to do with readiness for solids.

Also the baby gets much more nutrition and calories from breast/formula milk than any solids so too much solids will reduce the milk intake and therefore might not be a good idea if too early.

wouldliketoknow Wed 17-Nov-10 13:27:44

i mixed fed for 4.5 months and then only formula feed.
you should always wait for the 6 months to wean, the baby's gut might not be fully developed until 6 months regardless of what you feed him, and then start slowly at the baby's pace, they can live only on milk for the first year, it is only to learn to eat solids. your baby will not sllep better or worst for being on solids, and they do tend to start to sleep worst again at around 5 months, growth spurs should also be tackle with more feeds of milk, not an induicator that you need solids.
be aware of other mums and hvs, i can't tell you how many times i've been told he was ready at 4 months and that i am being stuborn waiting till 6 months, also i am cooking everything myself, you would think that the hv would be saying great, instead i got a big told off, obviously, i told her where to stick her advice,
conclussion: waiting won't harm him, starting early may. i would wait, i mean, i did.

wouldliketoknow Wed 17-Nov-10 13:35:26

i just remember, my niece was ff, never slept trought the night, started weaning at 4.5 months, still doesn't sleep throught the night, but she is a very fuzzy eater, i think due to pressure to start eating meals before being fully ready, so wait a couple of weeks and start offering a bit of mashed banana.
note, the baby pulling faces doesn't mean he is not ready to eat solids, it means this is really different than milk, and they all react like that at first, that is why you only try a couple of spoons at first, you might need to offer the same food up ten times to a baby, for them to take it happily, one thing, don't push him, there is always tomorrow, or the next six months

jaggythistle Wed 17-Nov-10 13:38:47

That's a good way of putting it wouldliketoknow

Before 6 months - slight risk of adverse effects from early weaning, no advantage to baby anyway.

Waiting till 6 months - no harm in waiting and baby's gut more likely to be ready to digest solids.

wouldliketoknow Wed 17-Nov-10 13:43:53

jaggy, i just don't see the hurry in being the first eating 3 meals a day and pudding...there's nothing to be gained.

jaggythistle Wed 17-Nov-10 13:48:11

Me neither, was much less hassle not having to take spoons etc out for DS!

I don't get the competititve thing either.

Also the guidlines are interpreted/ignored in so many different ways by different people.

wouldliketoknow Wed 17-Nov-10 15:04:30

what surprised me the most is the hv putting pressure in new mums to start weanning early and to buy baby food rather than cook it yourself. no wonder mums are confused.

jaggythistle Wed 17-Nov-10 20:22:21

wouldliketoknow, we appear to have killed the thread somehow...

strawberrycake Wed 17-Nov-10 20:33:57

I'm still reading!

I've been avoiding the hv so can't comment on her opinion.

I'm not pushing ds, occasionally offering. Poor sod has had no many nasty tasting medicines from a spoon I think he's wary of them!

wigglesrock Wed 17-Nov-10 21:05:21

I starting weaning dd1 at 6 months and dd2 slightly early at 5.5 months, both were exclusively formula fed.

jaggythistle Wed 17-Nov-10 21:06:03

Doesn't sound like you are in a rush

Have seen some of your other threads, it sounds like you have enough on your plate with your poor wee DS, hope you get things sorted out soon with appointments etc.

<worried I sound like a crazy stalker now, but I just spend too much time reading on MN grin >

Sorry for the grumpy interjection on your thread - I just couldn't let sugarplum's comment regarding her 'lots of research' stand as it was just so completely wrong. No idea where she got the idea that 6 month weaning advice was aimed at bfing only hmm

There doesn't seem to be any advantage for the baby in starting early, but loads of people at my baby group have told me that they wanted to wait (as I did)but they couldn't confused I think the waking in the night thing is just so widely believed to be a weaning sign.

Fewer people seem to have read the info about the 'outward' signs like starting to sit up and losing the tongue thrust reflex etc.

I liked the laziness of only having to worry about milk for DS not food as well!

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